As I sit in this coffee shop…

…I must confess, life is different but life is good. I’ve been back in Connecticut for nine months which is CRAZY. I have been back almost twice the amount of time I was gone. In the last nine months, I have found a way to forgive myself for the chaos I caused last year. I have no regrets about coming back to Connecticut- it was absolutely the right decision for me. I am also glad I didn’t come back by way of settling for the first job offered to me. Before coming home, I was driving back and forth three hours each way for job interviews. Luckily, it was all worth it because I absolutely love my job.

So far, it’s been a pretty good summer. Apparently, I read books on an iPad now. I always refused a Kindle but I got an iPad as a deal when I upgraded my phone so I use the Libby app to read. I’m currently reading one book on Libby, listening to one book on Libby, and reading one physical book. I don’t hate reading on a screen as much as I thought I would! I also think the iPad might be a game-changer for traveling. When I fly to Virginia in a few days, I can watch a show or read on a my iPad instead of bringing a book and my computer for each activity.

I also bought a hammock this summer. Like the kind that you tie to two trees in the woods. I didn’t even know these existed but they’re awesome. 5% of me is worried I’ll fall asleep alone in my hammock and get attacked by a bear or something but eh, I’ll worry about that if I have to. In addition to hammocking, I’ve tried a lot of new things the last few months. I’ve gone go-karting (like intense go-karting not like the boardwalk kind), went golfing (yes, real golf, not the miniature version), went to the drive-in, watched a motor speedway race, and went to a professional(?) soccer game. I’m telling ya people… say “yes” to everything. Do things you wouldn’t normally do. Step out of your comfort zone.

The summer has been a good balance of trying new things and being my usual independent self. Lately, I’ve been very aware of how much I enjoy being alone. Not alone in the sense that I never want to be in a relationship and share my life with someone, but in the sense that I’m so cool with being alone. I like to hike alone, go to the beach alone, sit in coffee shops alone, shop alone, get breakfast alone, etc. Next week I’ll be flying alone which is like my favorite thing. There is just something so freeing about traveling alone! Of course, these are all things I would love to do with someone but I like that I am more than okay doing them by myself.

I think this quality of mine is very much like my dad. Sitting in coffee shops and going for walks really make me feel connected to him. He always seemed so at peace at the beach or on a nature walk and that’s how I always feel. I don’t think his mind was really ever at peace but I like to believe places like the beach freed him momentarily. I definitely prefer the summertime just like he did because of all the opportunities to be outside. My headspace is better when I can spend time outside and breathe fresh air. My dad loved a sunset and a thunderstorm and the sound of waves crashing and even though he’s not here, I’m glad I have those things to keep me close to him.

Life is different but life is good. I have kickass friends and a kickass job and a kickass family. So much has changed but yet so much as stayed the same. Strangers became friends and friends became strangers. I continue to grow and embrace all the lessons life throws at me. I’ve learned how important it is to laugh. Lesson 1: Surround yourself with people who make you laugh so hard you cry (or pee your pants). I’ve learned that just because something is over doesn’t mean it wasn’t a crucial part of your story. Lesson 2: People come into your life at certain times for certain reasons. I’ve learned I like to hammock in places other than a backyard! Lesson 3: Try new things and surround yourself with people who make you try new things. I’ve learned how great it is to work in a non-toxic environment where I am using my talents and being challenged everyday. Lesson 4: Quit the job that drains the life out of you and doesn’t appreciate you.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. I’m off to raise my dopamine levels outside.

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